Tonight at a “special time” of 9:30 p.m. ET, Private Eyes returns to Global for a fifth season. The surprise to everyone, including star, director and executive producer Jason Priestley, is that it is also the final season.

I spoke with Priestley Wednesday for an upcoming episode of brioux.tv: the podcast. Look for him to talk about Private Eyes, his upcoming documentary on evil Leafs legend Harold Ballard and how 90210 mentor Aaron Spelling gave him his first directing break on the next podcast episode, schedule for Monday.

I’ve seen tonight’s Private Eyes episode (directed by Priestley) and the one after that and they are as fun and action-packed as usual, with private investigators Matt Shade and Cindy Sampson’s Angie Everett back after last season’s cliffhanger ending. That’s when Everett took a bullet for the team, literally. The series resumes at the hospital. Does she recover?

Hey, this isn’t The Sopranos.

Which is part of the general appeal of Private Eyes. It is a fun, light-hearted, will-they or won’t they romp. The guest stars, including Enrico Colantoni, Tony Nappo, JUNO-nominated singer-songwriter Royal Wood and Ennis Esmer this season, are terrific. The series is shot in Toronto and shows the city to great effect, right down to the subways and street cars and downtown condo towers. There’s a great adventure as the duo scamble through Ontario Place in the season’s second new episiode.

Everything about the series is easy on the eyes, one reason last season was the highest-rated Canadian returning series of 2020/2021 in the key A18-49 and A25-54 demos. It routinely draws a million or more viewers, remarkable over a five-year span where the million-mark has shrunk to about half that for many other Canadian-made scripted shows.

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That’s quite an accomplishment considering Global has always treated this series like a free space in Bingo. It bounces on and off the schedule whenever some pricey import crashes and burns. Over the five seasons, it has aired on Sundays one month and Tuesdays the next. Even this week, the season premiere is tonight on a Wednesday before the series moves to Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET starting July 15.

Priestley, as he told me today, was looking forward to more adventures before Corus pulled the plug on future episodes after this final, truncated, eight-episode season. The reduced order, apparently, had more to do with shooting through COVID than any other factors. The worst of it was the cast and crew had no idea that they were working on the last of Private Eyes. The series will end on another cliffhanger, and Priestley says it will be interesting to see how fans will be with that.

Wednesday was also the day that nominations were announced for the 2021 Canadian Screen Awards. I looked for the names Priestley, Sampson and Private Eyes but did not see them among the eleventy-million-billion nominations. There’s nothing more Canadian than getting overlooked at award time because your series is popular coast-to-coast. Just ask The Royal Canadian Air Farce.

Historically, to be fair, light-hearted dramas have never been award magnets. The bigger prize for Priestley and company is knowing your show is popular at home and sells in 186 different territories arouund the world.

Still, this series would last ten seasons at least on a US network, where a known, winning brand would be prized for cutting through the clutter on a broadcast spectrum that keeps getting squeezed by streamers. Somebody should send a couple of private investigators over to Global to look into this.

24 Comments

    • Lynn Lamanna Reply

      YES PLEASE RECONSIDER! I love this show and why are we dropping support on a show that proudly showcases a great Canadian city like my home, Toronto and great Canadian acting and film industry talent. This show fills a genre and category that we need more of, lots more of one of, one of non-violence, fun, good morals and intriguing mysteries. If it really is Covid-19 getting in the way, then revive it later! My sister and I are going to miss this show very much!

      • Lynette McKone Reply

        We have this in the UK, it’s one of my favourite TV shows. I don’t watch much TV, couple hours in the evening maybe, but I always turn on for this. Who are these people who choose to keep the rubbish and can the good shows for no apparent reason? And, as a bonus, this weeks episode was centred around Unionville, close to where my lovely cousin lives, so I got to take a peek at her world!

    • It’s too bad they take all the good shows off the air, there won’t be much left to watch!

    • Terribly disappointed in having a wonderful series end because of COVID… watched every show since it started and enjoyed playing detective with the team. One of the greater shows these days and such stunning scenery of our beautiful city Toronto! Maybe they can reconsider bringing it back if many fans request the return of the series. Please pass this on to Jason Priestley as he mentioned in the articles he was interested in feedback from the fans!

  1. Joan Kelley Reply

    It’s very disappointing to see this show go. It’s a light-hearted fun show that’s easy on the eyes for everybody. This and Hudson and Rex are two very good light-hearted Canadian shows. Love them both. Will Miss Angie and shade.

  2. You’d think a Canadian television station would support a show that’s not only Canadian, but has actual Canadian actors/actresses.
    The reason for ending the show is that because “it has hit its arc”. What ****ing bullshit.
    There are too few Canadian shows that are actually good. Especially a “who done it” show.
    Private eyes is a rare Canadian gem, and the network shouldn’t give up so easily on it.
    Because they did, I say screw Global TV. As it’s apparent they ONLY support American shows. TRAITORS!

      • Why did you drop Private Eyes. It was so good and showcased Toronto. It was a great hour of entertainment with Jason and Cindy. It was sure better than the mind numbing reality and cooking shows, like Chefs on a Wall. You guys sure know how to ruin a good thing. So sad. Please bring it back.

  3. I heartily agree with all comments I have just read about ending Private eyes…. I am 70 years old and enjoy many Canadian series because I can relate… I enjoy the fact that it’s not all Hollywood but down to earth Canadian…. scenery… personalities…. nothing much offensive… gives a sense of relaxation and enjoyment…. please reconsider your decision for those of us who care….

  4. Sandra Small Reply

    Love Private Eyes and all the characters…Please reconsider as this is a great Canadian show..
    If you drop some of those repeat shows we would love some fresh shows made here in Canada
    BIG BANG THEORY…..MOM….BULL…etc etc

  5. I agree with previous comments that it is so unfortunate Private Eyes is ending. It is a good show with a little humour mixed in with a serious storyline. I like the rapport between the characters. Wish they would reconsider the decision.

  6. Marie Walker Reply

    Private Eyes was my favourite Canadian show and I am really disappointed that it was abruptly finished. It is the sole reason that I have tuned into every new Canadian show each season, but none have appealed to me as much as Private Eyes. Hopefully another network will work something out to keep the show going. Too good to let go.

  7. Very disappointed that this show ended. I don’t understand why a network would cancel a successful show.

  8. I am very disappointed that Private Eyes has been cancelled. When I heard Private Eyes was in its final season, I thought maybe the actors have made other commitments. But the Network decided this? Why? There are very few good, entertaining, shows to watch on t.v. I enjoyed Private Eyes right from the show’s opening song, to seeing local landmarks, the humour, and the chemistry between all the actors. I am pretty sure I watched every episode, so I will not be watching re-runs. I would love to see Private Eyes revived.

  9. I just found out Private eyes is no more. I am not happy. why would you cancel great show and no warning about the last episode being the last of the show. We need more great shows like this on TV. Drama, humor and action.

  10. Ditto for all the above comments. Sadly disappointed to learn last week was the final episode and no advance warning or a satisfying ending to such a great Canadian show. Thumbs down to Global.

  11. I actually made sure I didn’t miss any episodes of Private Eyes. I really liked the show. But, Typical of Canadian television, you create something that’s enjoyable and then shut it down well before its time. Another reason I rarely watch any Canadian programming. Should have checked with the fan base to see if this program was done. You appear to have no concept of what people enjoy. Customer is always right!

  12. William Scott Reply

    So disappointed its being cancelled
    Ending the series the way they did really sucks because they just opened a whole new opportunity for a couple more seasons easily
    Please dont cancel it now

  13. Paige Buxton Reply

    This is very disappointing. It makes no sense as to how this ended. We need more of Private Eyes and Hudson & Rex. They are my favorite Canadian shows. They always cancel them which is crazy. They have cancelled at least 10 of my shows just in the last 3 years or so which is so crazy. This pandemic has been so hard to deal with for everyone and it helps to have reliability in our favorite shows. Having them renewed and be excited to watch new episodes feels a little normal. People don’t want new shows they want to see new episodes of their favorite shows.

  14. Rick Henneberry Reply

    So disappointed. There are not many things my 13 year old son and I like together on TV. We discovered this show too late. It was always a highlight binge watching this gem. This had so many great things about it. It wasn’t just the banter, or the stories. The family aspect, was something we related to. I’m grateful it was here. I wish there was one more season to tie up some things we wish we could see develop on screen.

  15. It would be nice to know the names of those behind the decision but all too often they duck beneath the parapets and won’t admit to any culpability.

    Studio/network execs have little to no respect for fans of TV shows. That is why they’ll sabotage a show by shifting time slots to try and make it fail so they can replace it with their own pet project.

    Looks like that didn’t work with this show but they’ve canned it anyway.

    Maybe Priestley was making more money on syndication than they were.

    Hopefully he can veto any repeats on the network(s) run by those that have stymied him here.

    If Priestley wants to continue making this show, he has the viewing figures, and thus the clout, to get another backer/outlet.

    Perhaps he’ll be able to do what Selleck did with the Jesse Stone tv-movie series and get an outfit like Hallmark behind him. At the very least, loyal fans should be rewarded with a resolution to the cliffhanger…

    Bottom line is that organisations who cancel a show on a cliffhanger ending really don’t deserve viewer support/confidence when it comes to any new/replacement product.

    Why support a business that kick you in the teeth like that?

    Vote with your remote and maybe tell any major advertisers on the network what you’ve done and why you’ve done it.

  16. Raquel Taylor Reply

    I’ve just started started watching the show and had binge watch it up to the 5th season…it’s not fair to viewers who had supported this show to end it like that. Common….we need at least another season to have closure and see how Angie and Shade navigate their newly found relationship. Give the viewers some closure as a thank you for sticking with the show for 5 years….🙏🙏

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